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Thread: Performing

  1. #21
    Senior Member Lacey's Avatar
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    I've been dancing since I was 5...

    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    What is so enjoyable about it?
    I like the general atmosphere of the whole thing...
    I like hanging out with my friends backstage. I like putting on my makeup, doing my hair, putting on my costumes. I like showing off. I like telling a story. I like sharing something with the audience.
    How do you not feel daunted by the fact that soo many people are watching you, expecting something great, and you have to deliver?
    I guess dance is the one thing I feel confident in. I've been doing it for most of my life and I've gotten enough positive feedback that I know it's something I'm good at. I'm secure enough in my ability that I know if I did well or not, and if it's not a great performance, I know I have another one coming up sometime in the near future. It would just be one bad performance out of however many good ones.
    How do you have the guts to think that you can entertain them for an extended amount of time? That you are worthy of their time?
    I rehearse a lot. You just get to the point where you think, "Okay, I'm good, I can show this to people." And, of course, if there's some sort of time crunch or there's something in the piece that's really difficult...I'm nervous about it but I just do my best to pull it off and hope it's fine.
    How do you determine if you're skilled enough/if your act is good enough? And how do you put together your act? What makes you decide on the elements? Etc, etc.
    Most of the time I don't get to choose what I'm performing. I have to do whatever the choreographer tells me...and they're telling me if it's good enough or not.

    I have choreographed my own stuff though, and when that happens, I just have a bunch of people watch it first. Dance professors, other dancers, people who know nothing about dance at all (their opinions are just as valid as anyone else's, because most of the people who watch dance aren't dancers). I take their comments and critiques and just keep working on the piece up until the showtime.


    Now. With all that said, dancing is basically the only thing I can do. Public speaking scares the shit out of me, as do basic daily social interactions. People don't get how I can be so shy, and then go onstage for a dance performance and be a completely different person.

    I don't get it either.

  2. #22
    PEST that STEPs on PETS stellar renegade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Follow up thought:

    Alot of any performance's success depends on the CONFIDENCE of the performer.

    When I was younger, I never got on a stage unless I had faith I could do whatever it was I set out to do.

    Now, I'm more apt to wing things, but still, I will not get up and make an ass of myself trying to do something I have no clue about.

    Anyhoo...

    This.

    I dunno, something in me just drives me to do it. Even if you make an ass of yourself, as long as YOU enjoy it, that's all that matters. Basically I just have to realize that I don't really know what's going through their heads and it doesn't matter anyway. Feeding off the energy of the crowd and funneling it back to them is the fun part.

    Like when I saw my fave band in Austin, I was tipsy and fumbled onto the stage to try to get everyone to join (they usually do during the last three encore songs though, a tidbit of info I didn't know at the time not that I'm actually embarrassed, I had a blast ) and I just gave it my all. I was dancing behind the guitarist, just thrashing about. I was escorted offstage (of course) only to be escorted back in by a fine gentleman.

    Later everyone was telling me how much they enjoyed it - "Solid dancing, dude!" and when I gave the frontman a hug later he said, "Thanks for dancing, man." haha.

    I find the more I put myself out there, the more vulnerable I become, the more people love that. It helps when you realize that people aren't critical elitists at heart, they're vulnerable heartfelt souls who're just looking for a reason to stop being so defensive. If they see someone make a fool of themselves just like they'd like to, and being so completely themselves that they don't give a shit what anyone else thinks, they totally thrive on that, y'know?

    That's why the most popular celebrities are the one who seem the most down-to-earth - people just like to see themselves vicariously through someone else in the spotlight.

    Because, whether we admit it or not, we ALL want to be big. We all want to be recognized and loved.
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  3. #23
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    For me..I dunno, I was always taught that drawing that amount of attention to yourself meant you had better be good or quit wasting other peoples time as it was vain and humility was seriously lacking. I'm...trying to undo that.

    I can do the whole going on a whim and being crazy thing, while pulling in other people and making it an interactive audience experience. Coz then I *know* everyone is enjoying it and they all get to take part. But the moment it becomes about me alone, I feel antsy, nervous.

    It even extends into my daily life, like for instance my jewelry crafting. I had a shop in it, which I closed a while ago. I was a bit uncomfortable asking what appeared like a lot of money to me for something I'd just thrown together. I felt like a fraud selling the jewelry I made, because I saw all the little imperfections and because I knew what mechanics were behind it, making the jewelry lose its lustre to me.

    The same is true for my singing and dancing. I cannot imagine people actually enjoying an amateur taking themselves too damned serious on a stage while bringing a mediocre performance. I feel it's pedantic and looks ridiculous and like trying too hard, though I very much realize that this train of thought is crazy. I just cannot get rid of that feeling.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member souffle's Avatar
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    Yeah, I get what you mean with the embarrassment about taking yourself too seriously, I often feel the same. When I play the flute at home, I can get right into the music, moving my body with it and having a very concentrated face. But as soon as I'm in front of people, I fear this will look silly, comical, so stay as still and sensible looking as possible and try and put of a poker face.

    I can't advise you as to how to overcome this- I am personally at the moment keeping a look out for performers such as singers, dancers or instrumentalists who really 'get into it' and do things I would consider embarrassing. The more I see it, the more I think I'll realise it's okay.

    As for feeling like you have no right to take yourself seriously and get into it if you're not amazingly good... I personally believe putting your heart into what you're doing and this was visible, then the quality of your performance would be lifted, no matter how mediocre your singing and dancing was.

    An old music teacher gave us this advice for performing improvised instrumental solos (something he required us to do alot): If you get all embarrassed and awkward and say "I can't do it" and refuse to, then you're going to look alot stupider than if you just throw yourself into it and play something, no matter how mediocre. I think that's something helpful to think about.

  5. #25
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Hmmm....In a way this is really kind of like telling someone your deepest darkest secrets.

    In fact..that could be just it. You put yourself out there, in all your passion, show yourself vulnerable when performing (at least, if you put your heart and soul in it), vulnerable to rejection and being ridiculed. Instead of fessing up your deepest darkest secrets to one person, you're doing it in front of a crowd, adding to the pressure. Especially as there is no way you can know that you can trust them all.

    At least that's how it feels to me. How do you trust an audience with your heart when you don't even know them well enough or have enough of a bond with each one of them to know they won't hurt you?

    On the other hand...sharing that with so many people who do appreciate that you put your heart and soul in it must be fantastic. In fact, treating it as an experience to share and to just completely surrender to yourself, might take away the anxiety. Easier said than done though.
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  6. #26
    Black Magic Buzzard Kra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    I'd like to ask those that enjoy performing for an audience (be it amateur, professional, improvisational, on stage, off stage, whatever), to share their experiences.

    What is so enjoyable about it? How do you not feel daunted by the fact that soo many people are watching you, expecting something great, and you have to deliver? How do you have the guts to think that you can entertain them for an extended amount of time? That you are worthy of their time? How do you determine if you're skilled enough/if your act is good enough? And how do you put together your act? What makes you decide on the elements? Etc, etc.

    for those needing confirmation: I have stagefright
    I've played guitar since I was 15. I started playing lead guitar in a band when I was 16, and I've performed for an audience for about 7 years total. I haven't performed publicly for about 2 years due to not having a band, and not having the time to form another one.

    I enjoyed playing in a live setting. Hell, I loved it. It was incredibly invigorating. From the moments of seeing a song you wrote coming together, to the times when you improvise something fantastic, it never disappointed me.

    Normally, I'm a pretty shy person. Hell, if you put me on stage and needed be to entertain in any other way, I'd be a stumbling, nervous wreck. But as long as I had a guitar, I was pretty confident, if not cocky.

    I think my comfort with performing stems from being assured of my skills. I spent hours a day just playing guitar, whether it was practicing or just goofing off. I had mentors, and had even taken some college-level music/guitar classes. My band practiced pretty regularly, and had all the material down. I had gotten to a point where I knew I was good, and I didn't need anyone else to tell me that (though that was nice )

    I had also learned a few "fail-safes." Taking a few jazz courses had taught me how to go with my mistakes, and make people think I meant to do that

    I guess to summarize, I'd say that, for me, being comfortable with being on stage is entirely based on how comfortable I am with the talent that is being performed.
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  7. #27
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    ^ It's interesting to see this between Js and Ps.., especially TJs and FPs, I think...

    Since we're motivated by different things, we need different motivations to be on stage. TJs seem to be driven by 'nailing it', perfecting the skill and relish the idea of being awesome at something, and gain their confidence from knowing they're good. And that will fuel them to give it all their best and actually give a kick-ass performance.

    Whereas FPs seem to gain it from the journey, inviting the audience to experience their passion with them and can perform their best when they actually lose themselves in the performance as well. Though practice and skill does boost confidence, focussing on completing 'a mission' (giving a kick-ass performance) doesn't, as it does for TJs. In fact, it's the letting go on stage and actually feeling in sync with both the audience and the performance that makes them shine.
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  8. #28
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Hmmm....In a way this is really kind of like telling someone your deepest darkest secrets.

    In fact..that could be just it. You put yourself out there, in all your passion, show yourself vulnerable when performing (at least, if you put your heart and soul in it), vulnerable to rejection and being ridiculed. Instead of fessing up your deepest darkest secrets to one person, you're doing it in front of a crowd, adding to the pressure. Especially as there is no way you can know that you can trust them all.

    At least that's how it feels to me. How do you trust an audience with your heart when you don't even know them well enough or have enough of a bond with each one of them to know they won't hurt you?

    On the other hand...sharing that with so many people who do appreciate that you put your heart and soul in it must be fantastic. In fact, treating it as an experience to share and to just completely surrender to yourself, might take away the anxiety. Easier said than done though.
    Yeah that is really it. To give a moving performance you are transparent. You get up there and bear your heart and soul to the audience, and they love you for it. I think this is doubly true for those people who perform things they actually wrote themselves.

    As an actor I think I might have an easier time with this compared to a singer. I am bearing the heart and soul of a fictional character. Still I put part of myself into every character I create, and so I am still bearing that part of me for the world to see.
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  9. #29
    Black Magic Buzzard Kra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    ^ It's interesting to see this between Js and Ps.., especially TJs and FPs, I think...

    Since we're motivated by different things, we need different motivations to be on stage. TJs seem to be driven by 'nailing it', perfecting the skill and relish the idea of being awesome at something, and gain their confidence from knowing they're good. And that will fuel them to give it all their best and actually give a kick-ass performance.

    Whereas FPs seem to gain it from the journey, inviting the audience to experience their passion with them and can perform their best when they actually lose themselves in the performance as well. Though practice and skill does boost confidence, focussing on completing 'a mission' (giving a kick-ass performance) doesn't, as it does for TJs. In fact, it's the letting go on stage and actually feeling in sync with both the audience and the performance that makes them shine.
    Well, the aforementioned TJ-ness really only prepares me and gives me the confidence to perform. Oddly enough, I've always thought deep-down that performing was a healthy outlet for my usually starved SP shadow (Which was fairly observable if you look at my behavior during the period where I was playing somewhere every weekend). In truth it's one of the rare times in my life that I'm truly "in the moment."

    The thrill of creating and sharing that creation is my reason for performing, the TJ aspects are just my method of doing that.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    ^ It's interesting to see this between Js and Ps.., especially TJs and FPs, I think...

    Since we're motivated by different things, we need different motivations to be on stage. TJs seem to be driven by 'nailing it', perfecting the skill and relish the idea of being awesome at something, and gain their confidence from knowing they're good. And that will fuel them to give it all their best and actually give a kick-ass performance.

    Whereas FPs seem to gain it from the journey, inviting the audience to experience their passion with them and can perform their best when they actually lose themselves in the performance as well. Though practice and skill does boost confidence, focussing on completing 'a mission' (giving a kick-ass performance) doesn't, as it does for TJs. In fact, it's the letting go on stage and actually feeling in sync with both the audience and the performance that makes them shine.
    I don't know about this. I don't think type is relevant here...I'm a touchy feely NF, but I have been driven by 'nailing it' since I am a perfectionist - but then I've been motivated by many things, mostly just the rush of doing something I love. Use whatever reasoning makes it easier for you.
    You have to be prepared for the fact that practicing and performing are different headspaces, and you have to at least look like you're enjoying the experience. You can screw up a lot, if you look like your engaged in it fully.

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